Bodily Functions in Fiction and Reality

Either I have caught some kind of stomach bug or I simply ate something that disagreed with me. I sincerely hope the culprit wasn’t this recipe from the New York Times site that I tried out on Wednesday, because I enjoyed the dish a whole lot.

At any rate, my stomach started to rumble during my afternoon class yesterday. I ignored it at first, but eventually it got so bad that I had to make a trip to the teachers’ loo during the five minute break between the afternoon lessons.

A student: “Where are you going?”

Me: “Where you guys have to go all the time” (The toilet break frequency during the afternoon classes is annoyingly high. The kids can hold it together before noon, but completely lose it after lunch.)

When I got back, the assembled students greeted me with, “Well, you took a long time to get back.” I had taken exactly five minutes, the length of the break.

And that from the masters of the ten minute toilet break. One kid from that class actually managed to vanish to the toilet for a full fifteen minutes, to the point that I got worried and knocked on the outer door to the boys’ loo and asked if everything was all right with him.

As for other bodily functions, at the Guardian, Emily Cleaver discusses literary depictions of labour and childbirth

This is of interest to me, because the heroine of “the novel” is pregnant for much of the story and has her baby near the end. I cheat a bit on that, since the actual birth takes place off-page and the early stage labour is described through the eyes of another POV character. Since I don’t have children myself, I don’t feel confident describing the birth from the POV of the mother to be. Never mind that a woman in the process of giving birth makes a piss-poor POV character since she has other things on her mind than narrating her story.

BTW, scouring pregnancy websites for background information has been one of the most embarrassing research quests undertaken for my writing so far.

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